Economic Affairs

CAOBISCO’s priority is to maintain and enhance its export competitiveness by prevailing and improving market access opportunities through bilateral trade agreements.

Supporting the competitiveness of European manufacturers

The chocolate, biscuits and confectionery industries are amongst Europe’s most dynamic and largest manufacturing and exporting sectors. They contribute strongly to local communities’ vitality and to the European economy. CAOBISCO members create jobs as well as a wide choice and variety of products for their consumers.

The competitiveness of CAOBISCO industries needs to be supported to help the sector facing the challenges driven notably by the global economic downturn or the rise in raw materials and energy prices through the following measures:

  • An improved integration of legislation and industrial policy at European level to provide a flexible and business-friendly framework in which CAOBISCO members can operate, in particular SMEs
  • A sustainable access to adequate supplies of raw materials that are safe, of high quality and competitively priced
  • A consistent EU trade policy stimulating growth through balanced free trade agreements with third countries.

International trade:

Preferential rules of origin apply with countries that have a preferential trade agreement with the EU and in this context the rules of origin are fundamental to determine the customs duty to be paid according to the origin and manufacture of the product and its related content/ingredients.

A new regulation determining preferential rules of origin under the General System of Preferences (GSP) entered into force on 1 January 2011, with the aim to simplify rules and procedures for developing countries wishing to access the EU’s preferential trade arrangements, while preventing fraud.

The new Regulation bases the determination of origin of food products on weight rather than the value criteria with the objective to simplify origin rules. For CAOBISCO products for instance, it has been determined that the product imported from preferential “GSP” countries with a preferential trade arrangements could only include a limited percentage in weight of non-originating sugar and dairy (i.e. maximum 40% of the final weight for sugar or dairy and 60% for sugar and dairy combined).

Security of supply

+Sugar is the most important ingredient for CAOBISCO products.

Since the 2009 campaign year, the sugar market has entered a major supply crisis, putting the productivity and competitiveness of our industries at stake. CAOBISCO industries have to face great difficulties in finding the sugar volumes necessary to continue their production and have to buy sugar at prices significantly above world market levels, putting their competitiveness at stake.

The production capacity of CAOBISCO members rely on a sustainable supply of high quality European sugars. However, EU confectioners are struggling amid a tight sugar supply situation, experiencing 40% price hikes in the past year. The confectionery industry is clearly hit by the sugar market situation, especially SMEs.

CAOBISCO and CIUS, the Committee of European Users of Sugar, support the elimination of sugar quotas and are favourable to any constructive proposals to improve sugars supply across Europe, both from within the EU and third countries, so as to ensure that European chocolate, biscuit and confectionery manufacturers operate in a healthy and sustainable environment, guaranteeing growth potential and competitiveness in international markets.

CAOBISCO works in close collaboration with CIUS – the Association of the European Sugar Users, to which CAOBISCO is a founding member. Together with its partners, CAOBISCO supports with great hope the sugar market reform.


+Common Agricultural Policy

CAOBISCO members use more than 30% of all European sugar produced and are major users of dairy and cereals. The food industry in general buys 70% of all EU agricultural raw materials.

We are therefore ardent supporters of a strong and competitive EU agricultural sector. Similarly, a thriving agricultural sector benefits from a competitive food industry. The CAP reform must take into consideration the competitiveness of our industry. Agricultural production is part of the food system and not a stand-alone objective. Only demand-driven production, tailored to the needs of customers and consumers, can ensure the long-term competitiveness of EU agriculture.